Monday, December 31, 2012

Feed the Birds

Rajah on Christmas Day at my feeder.... Brrrr!

Old Man Winter arrived just in time for Christmas this year and we had a very unusual white one! As the weather continues on the downward spiral and the cold deepens, feeding the birds becomes serious business for without our help, many may not survive the temperature plunge. True bird aficionados feed year round, but I feel it is best to insist they forage until the weather no longer permits or food is no longer easily obtainable, however from now until spring when bugs hatch and the foliage returns they will need our help.

A standard mix of wild bird feed is easily affordable and will draw many birds to your feeder. If you add thistle to the mix the Chickadees will be grateful; add more sunflower seeds and the Cardinals will adore you. An added plus to providing a bird feeder are entertaining antics that are now visible since the trees are bare; through observation you will discover every bird has personality traits common to its species. The Blue Jays are excitable, boisterous, rather the bullies who always travel in a gang. They are like the boys who spend too much time at the gym working out! The Cardinals are polite, laid back, and lacking in aggression, much like the Catholic Cardinals whom I am convinced borrowed their color. All species of the Woodpecker family demand and receive respect; their beaks are daunting and their presence will clear the feeder immediately. The darling finches squabble and tumble about while the Black Capped Chickadee and timid Titmouse dart in-and-out for sunflower seeds. The wonderfully enthusiastic Sparrows are mentioned numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as among God's favorites.

Birds eat in regular intervals during the day much as we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. For this reason the feeder is sometimes chaotically busy with all species feeding together in a feathered fluff of noisy competition while other times the filled feeder stands as though forgotten for hours on end.

Feeding the birds is mentioned in numerous sources from the Bible to Nursery Rhymes with even a song from the film 'Mary Poppins' dedicated to the task so it must indeed be important. Word spreads quickly among the bird community and those who provide food will find themselves at the height of popularity this time of year... and as the cold deepens, one may enjoy the hobby of bird watching from the warmth and comfort of an armchair while knowing you are being of service to one of God's favorite creations.  Happy New Year!